Fragrance Reviews from October 2010

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    Margareta's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Prada Tendre by Prada

    I own this perfume, and I can´t really make up my mind if I love it or not. Sometimes it is all I want from a perfume, and sometimes I don't like it att all. Perhaps it is only working during some weather-surcomstanses I haven´t figured out yet. It gets a thumbs up, because of its beauty during the days when I like it the most!

    30th October, 2010

    bluelit8's avatar

    United States United States

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    Five O'Clock Au Gingembre by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Perhaps no other fragrance suffers from the baggage of being part of the Lutens line as much as Five O'Clock Au Gingembre. It's often unfavorably compared to Lutens' warmer, louder, (more over-the-top?) scents, like Ambre Sultan or Arabie. On its own merits, though, this is quite a lovely fragrance with an unusual freshness for an oriental.

    The top ginger, as others have mentioned, include a pretty, lemony lift, and the scent then fades into a spiced musk. It's a saltier, drier, more transparent and arguably more coherent than Tea For Two, its counterpart in the L'Artisan Pafumeur stable.

    While truth be told I prefer Tea For Two with its smokiness, Five O'Clock is a lovely fragrance, meant to be worn when the crisp fall air calls for a richer scent, but not a whole-hog amber dessert.

    30th October, 2010

    bokaba's avatar

    United States United States

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    Colonia Russa by Santa Maria Novella

    CR opens with a blast of realistic citrus--orange, bergamot, lemon, and then light herbs and florals, but the entire time the dark leathery base is apparent. This is the coming together of east and west in 18th Century Europe. The bright citrus and florals of the Farinas meets the dark leather and incense of medieval Russia. A tad discordant like Peter the Great forcing the boyars to shave their beards and adopt western fashion lest they face the Tsar's wrath.

    30th October, 2010

    Sunsetspawn's avatar

    United States United States

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    Armani Eau Pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

    The citrus and lavender here just scream, "nice cologne," while the sandalwood gently chimes in with, "a bit masculine." There is nothing harsh about it, but the old-schooliness of it could present itself as sharp to those used to Code and Gio whom might be branching out in the brand. Anywho, the only thing keeping me from throwin' my thumbs up is the powdery aura that accompanies the drydown. Many fragrances have that "sense" and they all make me feel less-than-appealing when I wear them. Mind you, I don't mean unappealing, but just, not appealing, as in, neutral. And this, of course, is reflected in my rating.

    30th October, 2010

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Havana by Aramis

    As others have said, this is very similar to Montana Parfum d'Homme ("red box"), and so one might question why. The difference is that the Montana has more of a soapy lavender feel whereas Havana is boozier and more tobacco oriented. They are both complex and "confused" up top, but then dry down to a dry, "brown leaf" kind of thing. I find Havana is a bit too dry for me, so I think I prefer the Montana, even though I don't like soapy lavender. When I feel that the soapy lavender won't bother me, I can wear the Montana. I have a bottle of the Montana and a decant of Havana, and that seems to be about right for me. Sillage/projection and longevity are at least very good.

    30th October, 2010

    Bigsly's avatar

    United States United States

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    ParadisoInferno for Men by Benetton

    The gardenia is very strong with my skin chemistry and stays in the forefront. The background is mostly a dry, peppery/spicy incense. This is not complex, but it is effective. Essentially, the idea is the interplay between these two elements. The gardenia is a bit heavy - wet and earthy, so it's not "feminine." Most dry incense fragrances have a strong wood element, which is something that irritates me, so I'm glad I found this one (I also don't have any gardenia-dominant fragrances). It is natural and has good longevity (I got a little on my shirt, which I think is a good idea with this one). Projection/sillage is moderate, which is probably necessary with this kind of idea. i don't think I've tried and others from this company, and I haven't heard anything good about their fragrances, but this one is quite good, regardless of its retail price.

    30th October, 2010

    Goldaline's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Absolu by Rochas

    This fragrance is, to me, in the same genre as Shalimar and other vanilla-based fragrances.

    It is full bodied, sweet, and dries down to a palatable powdery scent.

    It is best worn for evening and in the winter months.

    It's a pity it is not more widely available as it is reasonably priced and rather nice.

    30th October, 2010

    JonB's avatar

    United States United States

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    Abercrombie & Fitch Woods by Abercrombie & Fitch

    As Odysseusm said, this is not the woodiest log in the pile. In fact, any wood note in Woods has got to be synthetic; my nose doesn't detect any real wood. Although people mention citrus, I don't smell any significant real citrus. It's possible that any citrus smell is totally synthetic too. What my nose smells is a somewhat fresh scent apparently composed almost totally of synthetic components. Woods is also soapy, but the soapiness is not the more common floral-based soap, it too seems synthetic. My verdict on Woods is: Meh This is an OK fragrance, but certainly nothing to rave about. That it seems composed entirely of synthetic aromachemicals is fine with me, but may not be satisfactory to some. Woods is fairly strong, projects well, and is moderately long lasting. Test before buying.

    30th October, 2010

    Late-Hit's avatar

    United States United States

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    Arden Men - Sandalwood by Elizabeth Arden

    The newer version opens with a stong cedary lavender, soon becomes a quiet mix of lavander and sandalwood, and then is very soft. However, the older stuff is distinctly sandalwood from begining to end, and without much lavender at all, and the creamy sandalwood is notable in the drydown.

    The new version is OK, but the vintage is really better... at least for someone who appreciates the nuances of natural sandalwood.

    30th October, 2010

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    Brit for Men by Burberry


    This smells promising when you first apply it, with its strong pepper notes up top. However, the whole fragrance falls apart within minutes and ends up smelling like peppered baby powder. And I do mean BABY powder, not barbershop talcum powder - that might have been good. The combination of pepper and a powdery base may not sound too horrible on paper, but trust me, this stuff is really bad.

    This could have been decent if there were more pepper and spice notes, and less sweetness in the powder, but as it is, Brit is shit.

    MY RATING: 3/10

    30th October, 2010

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Amber by Essentially Me

    First off, AMBER is not an amber-centric fragrance. It is more of a dry resins and subtly floral composition with myrrh and frankincense complementing the labdanum in the base. It is not sweet and has a herbal aspect that I particularly enjoy.

    30th October, 2010

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Chypre by Essentially Me

    Like a crossbreed of Coty Chypre and Bowling Green, CHYPRE is a tad spicy and not quite as mossy as I prefer my chypres to be. I don't find it gourmand at all, at least not in the projected sillage, but the cumin tends to overstay its welcome.

    Notes:
    linden blossom, neroli, bergamot, lime, cassis, lavender, rose, violet leaf, mint, cumin, seaweed, cedar, cypress, tobacco, oakmoss.

    30th October, 2010

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Kuan Yin by Essentially Me

    KUAN YIN is unlike any florals I have encountered before. In the beginning it smells like a sophisticated floral incense with an austerity that recalls certain Chinese temples. But as time goes by, it grows more chypre-like. I'm impressed. Alec Lawless has created an interesting, if not arresting, interpretation of 'osmanthus'.

    30th October, 2010

    irfan's avatar

    Malaysia Malaysia

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    Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules


    Smells like a toned down Tam Dao to me. And it's also a wee bit musty and incensy if compared to Tam Dao. But that's just good, it's subtle but very noticeable and it definitely last until the evening. It's one of those very unique yet very wearable scents. Just bought myself a bottle and I love every bits of it!

    30th October, 2010

    Persolaise's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    The One Gentleman by Dolce & Gabbana

    I confess this one had me fooled for a while. The initial impression it made was undeniably positive; in fact, the sweep of citrus, woods and irones had me making mental comparisons with nothing less than Dior Homme. Well-mannered and understated, it floated through the air like an unobtrusive, smiling waiter wandering from guest to guest at an elegant party. But watch out: this particular gentleman doesn't feel at home in his tuxedo. In fact, it isn't even really his. When he's finished serving hundreds of demanding guests, he returns his work clothes and walks back home in a baggy jumper that smells of sweat, stale cigarette smoke and unremarkable after shave. It's a shame really, because he is quite charming when he scrubs up.

    30th October, 2010

    Ekove's avatar

    Kuwait Kuwait

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    Caravelle Epicée by Frapin

    Spices, spices, spices. What more could you ask for? a perfect combination of sharp spices and sweet gourmand ones, topped with a touch of liquor. This is a perfect fragrance for something that smells "Christmas-y", it's delicious, warm and boozy. This fragrance reminds me of Body Kouros and Le Male, with higher quality, smoother building, and the complexity multiplied a couple of times. I'd say it's also close to Chergui without the strong honey opening, yet despite the similarity to chergui and other SL fragrances, it still feels simple as a whole, familiar, and not something that constantly tries to challenge you.

    Longevity and Projection on this are fantastic, and despite being a spicy natural smelling fragrance, it never turns into a "body odor" smell on those hot days. I can not recommend this fragrance enough, Frapin is a small house with a very promising start.

    A very solid 9/10

    30th October, 2010

    meilz92's avatar



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    Ralph by Ralph Lauren

    Ah, Ralph. This was my very first perfume. It's a beautiful, young fruity fragrance. I bought some more again last summer- it's a classic!

    30th October, 2010

    meilz92's avatar



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    Stella by Stella McCartney

    A lovely, rosy fragrance. One of my favorites, its very soft and delicate, although perhaps a little too soft as I find that it has to be continuously reapplied throughout the day for the scent to linger. Other than that, this is an A+ perfume. I love it!

    30th October, 2010

    meilz92's avatar



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    Narciso Rodriguez for Her by Narciso Rodriguez

    This fragrance is amazing, one of my all time favorites. The woody and musky overtones create a very sensuous and sophisticated fragrance, perfect for a night out. NR for her is all class.

    30th October, 2010

    meilz92's avatar



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    Princess by Vera Wang

    It's okay. I like the floral and fruity notes, but I think it's a bit too sweet for my liking. I wouldn't use it for anything other than everyday wear.

    30th October, 2010

    ZeCheiroso's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    Antaeus by Chanel

    Versatility *
    Durability *****
    Sillage ****
    Top *
    Heart ****
    Base *****
    Final score ***

    Power incarnate, or how Don Corleone probably smells like.
    Luxurious. Lustful, lascivious, lewd, libidinous.
    The name and the mythology around it are fantastic too.

    The good
    This isn't for the faint of heart. It's assertive like no recent offerings. Noticeable but not screaming or vulgar like the majority of low end scents.
    Undoubtly manly and proper, it's like entering a formal event with a beautiful lady in tow: you are the man and everyone gets it.
    Awesome touch of majesty on formal settings, I see it fitting business settings too.
    The sweet beeswax note in the drydown is specially pleasant, and rare.
    Loud but rather limited sillage and great durability. Perfect for its purpose.
    Very uncommon scent.

    The bad
    Poor versatility. What am I supposed to do with a tuxedo most of the time?
    Wearing it in summertime should be a felony.

    The ugly
    For the younger crowd, it's dated. No way around it. Few young girls will find it nice smelling, and most guys will label it grandpa scent (sure, most of them think Acqua di Gio is the way to go when greeting the Queen of England but I digress).
    The top notes are loud and borderline unpleasant.
    Can only be used with a light hand.

    30th October, 2010 (Last Edited: 01st December, 2010)

    Indie_Guy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

    I can agree with reviews that say this scent is not earth-shatteringly original, but I've found that each time I wear it, it earns more future wearings.

    There was once a trend of "blue" mens scents-- I don't mean the "aquatic/marine" scents but rather those that were kind of an icy blue thing. They dominated the drugstore scene for a while but most of them were cheap-- I recall some cheapo scent called "Actif Blue" by Brut that was cheap, but kind of interesting in its crisp blue signature.

    I think Bleu de Chanel is an attempt to go back and revisit this somewhat forgotten era of the "blue" fragrances which came after Cool Water and before Acqua di Gio--yet do it with much higher quality materials. Bleu de Chanel strikes me as a somewhat fresh, youthful "blue" scent with a nice steely structure and most importantly, a quality drydown.

    I think Jacques Polge has tucked a little bit of Antaeus' leather accord into the base, along with some suede. The vetiver is one of the strangest parts of the base. Standard note, I know, but for some reason I cannot smell it at all inside the composition of Bleu de Chanel-- until the next day, when the rest of the scent has vanished and a glorious vetiver note comes strutting out. It reminds me of the vetiver note in Lanvin's somewhat underappreciated Vetyver-- probably because of the grapefruit/vetiver combination which leans toward the wet earthy type, rather than the dry cedary.

    While Bleu de Chanel was a bit of an impulse buy for me, I warmed up to it rather quickly and I find that it's a serious contender on any given night. The way it performs on my skin is more than acceptable. I get compliments and I think it goes well with my style. It isn't ostentatious--it's a bit reserved but sturdy and not at all shy.

    I think what people dislike about it is that it somehow doesn't smell "French"-- to me, its character seems a bit German-- like something Jil Sander, Wolfgang Joop or one of the older Hugo Boss releases (yes, Hugo Boss used to make good stuff). I think of some of the bits Bleu de Chanel remind me variously of pieces of Boss #1, Elements, Dark Blue--and then some. A lot of the German scents have that macho, steely (yes, I'll use that descriptor a second time) fresh synthetic (dihydromyrcenol) top over a leathery base with a kind of clinical toilet water middle. Sounds bad but I kind of like it in practice.

    A very good scent, but hard to judge on one or two wearings. Not a mindblower on its own but can be the perfect complement to the right wearer.

    30th October, 2010 (Last Edited: 03rd December, 2010)

    Margareta's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Sheer Stella (2008 version) by Stella McCartney

    A lot of Stella for a little money! Not so very different from the original, just a little lighter, so, yes, thank you, for this bottle!

    30th October, 2010 (Last Edited: 01st January, 2011)

    DJB's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès

    I saw this at Nordstrom today, and after sampling I had to have it. At first whiff, my impressions were: green, dry, clean musk, and earthy. I was surprised when I looked up the notes after I had purchased it and found that there's incense, which I don't smell. Longevity is very good on me.

    30th October, 2010 (Last Edited: 12th January, 2011)

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Rive Gauche pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    In a fragrant supernova, Azzaro Pour Homme and Brut collide. Particles of patchouli and amber go everywhere.

    30th October, 2010 (Last Edited: 28th February, 2011)

    Margareta's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Idylle by Guerlain

    A very charming easy-to-wear perfume! I have read that it is compared to Narsizo Rodrigues for Her and to SJP Lovely. Booth of them has been favourites of mine, and I can really understand why they are compared to Idylle. They sing the same sort of song. But if I would choose one of these three, it will absolutley be Idylle. It is the most beautiful of the three. NRfH is a little bit too sharp, and Lovely is a little bit too rough. Idylle is smoother, but is still having this lovely sort of sour tone as I sometimes can´t live without.

    Idylle works well all year around, and is longlasting on my skin. It has a place in my wardrobe, and I can leave at least Narsizo Rodrigues for Her EdP.

    The EdP of Idylle is the better one of it and the newly released EdT.

    30th October, 2010 (Last Edited: 10th July, 2011)

    rosbif's avatar



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    Paul Smith Man 2 by Paul Smith

    For those who weren't already bored to tears by the lack of originality in most men's fragrance, I give you Paul Smith Man 2. For such an innovative fashion house to churn out the same old codswallop as everyone else is a great shame. One redeeming feature: a warming, slightly metrosexual drydown as your compensation for forking out designer prices for discount store perfume. **

    30th October, 2010 (Last Edited: 30th November, 2013)

    rosbif's avatar



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    Coeur de Fleur by Miller Harris

    Smells pretty standard to me, rather like the generic woman scent in deodorants and other things not associated with fine fragrance. Nothing hugely wrong with it, but it's rather like staying home with a movie you've already seen when there's a whole exciting world out there. ***

    30th October, 2010 (Last Edited: 30th November, 2013)

    Mr. G's avatar

    Denmark Denmark

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    Attrape Coeur / Guet-Apens / Royal Extract by Guerlain

    If you can olfactorily envision an amalgam of Mitsouko's spicy peach-jasmine-oakmoss harmony and the baroque and burning sandalwood-amber of Samsara, you get the feel of Attrape Cœur. Behind this touching name ("heart catcher") you find one of Guerlain's most lavish and layered perfumes — one that quickly gained neoclassical status. Originally conceived in 1999 as a limited edition Eau de Parfum by the talented Mathilde Laurent, it was at that time called Guet-Apens which means "ambush", a surprisingly violent name for a perfume. For a short period, it made part of Guerlain's Fragrance Collection duo as "No.68", before it finally was featured as the centrepiece for the reopening of the Guerlain House in July 2005, presented to media and industry people in a quadrilobe bottle just labelled "Maison Guerlain 7 Juillet 2005". For the commercial reissue, it was poetically named after J.D. Salinger's 1951 cult-novel "The catcher in the rye" (translated as "L'attrape-cœurs" in French) and placed in the Parisiennes line. Salinger tells the story about a young man who, faced with a hostile adult world, develops a fantasy of catching children and saving them from falling into alienation, phoniness and superficiality. This is the perfume's aim: to catch us with its playful and rich scent and bring us back to our senses. And the perfume is indeed the antidote of superficiality. As perfume expert Luca Turin notes, it's "an essay on amber" of the most delectable and opaque kind, with an intoxicating, wealthy aroma of spiced Swedish glögg, burning hot and prepared with all sorts of luxurious ingredients: a huge jasmine heart garnished with violet, peach, rose, orris, cinnamon, amber, vanilla, and lots of shining sandalwood. Any flimsy sweetness from amber and fruit is contrasted by oakmoss, dry and dark. And all these things are put together, not in a messy way but on the contrary layered intelligently like a Babette's Feast: caramelized indolic jasmine buds flambéed with fiery oak-aged peach brandy. To many Guerlain lovers' regret, Attrape Cœur was taken out of production after 2009.

    31st October, 2010

    Stereotomy's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Bulgari Man by Bulgari

    Very shrill, thin, unclothed Bulgari Homme Soir. Fits in the same category as Bleu de Chanel, which was also launched around this time. A 'smells nice in the office' woody-violet scent. Very safe, very middle management.

    Prefer Bulgari PH by a mile.

    31st October, 2010

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